Commission under more scrutiny

24 October 2013 09:01

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke is coming under pressure to appoint a woman to his controversial England commission.

New sports minister Helen Grant held talks with Dyke on Monday after stinging criticism of the all-white and all-male make-up of the commission from FA board member Heather Rabbatts at the weekend and made no secret of her feelings.

Grant, who is also equalities minister, said Dyke had told her there could be more appointments to the commission.

Asked if she would like to see a woman appointed, she said: "I think all governing bodies and commissions of this nature should seek to reflect the make-up of the society that it purports to represent and I know the contribution that women could make.

"I have met many fantastic women in my days as both a lawyer and as a politician and we will have to see what will happen."

She added: "I spoke to Greg on Monday and he has said he hasn't finalised the make-up of the commission.

That row over the lack of diversity was swiftly followed by Dyke appointing Rio Ferdinand and Roy Hodgson to the commission which will aim to find ways to make the England team more successful - but all 10 members are men.

Grant added: "I have made my views very clear and I am very, very pleased to hear about Rio and I think his appointment will be a very good thing.

"The make-up of the commission isn't finished, it hasn't been finalised and what we need to do is give Greg Dyke a bit of space now to work out what he needs to do."

Dyke's commission ran into trouble almost from the outset after the Premier League clubs decided that, although they would contribute, they did not want to have a representative on the body.

FA general secretary Alex Horne denied it had been "a shambles".

He said: "I dispute that, I don't buy that it's any less credible or laudable than it was when we set out.

"The commission haven't even met yet or seen the terms of reference so of course the commission's make-up could change.

"Remember the objectives - the commission's aim is to look at pathways for talented young players eligible for playing for England and where they are playing their club football.

"This will be one of the most inclusive consultations we have ever undertaken, we will be seeking input from all aspects of football and not only in England but overseas, and from other sports."

Source: PA